Fourteen candidates for local office across New York State and Pennsylvania won a different style of campaign this year. With much attention focused on political party wins and losses, candidates supported by the nonpartisan honest government advocacy group Trailblazers PAC followed higher campaign finance standards than law requires — and won.
With a goal of reconnecting voters to democracy, Trailblazers PAC endorses only in contested races, despite that fully two-thirds of the thousands of local contests on Tuesday had only one candidate.
Candidates seeking Trailblazers PAC endorsement must adhere to 100% campaign finance disclosure, must establish an independent campaign finance committee that is separate from political party organizations, and must raise a set portion of donations from inside their district, instead of relying on outside money.
“Our Trailblazers are moving politics out of the back room, onto the front porch, and that makes voters the real winners,” said Leslie Danks Burke, founder and President of Trailblazers PAC.
With yesterday’s results, the organization saw a 58% win rate for endorsed candidates, a remarkable result for a first-year PAC.
The 24 candidates who earned Trailblazers PAC’s 2017 endorsement came from a pool of 57 candidates in the organization’s one-on-one mentorship and funding pipeline. Over 600 people have attended Trailblazers PAC’s candidate and supporter workshops and information sessions since the organization launched last January.
“We are thrilled with the results and so proud of our candidates who challenged themselves to follow clean government standards.. Their success proves that taking action for honest government gets voters back into the conversation. Now, it’s time to see that action continue to clean up government from the local level up,” said Leslie Danks Burke, founder and President of Trailblazers PAC.
The following 14 Trailblazers PAC candidates were victorious in 2017:
- Doug Avery (Seneca Falls, NY Town Board, Seneca County)
- Kevin Beckford (Pittsford, NY Town Board, Monroe County)
- Amanda Champion (Tompkins County Legislature, Ithaca, NY)
- Terry Cuddy (Auburn, NY City Council, Cayuga County)
- Michele Farwell (Otsego County Legislature, Pittsfield, NY)
- Anne Koreman (Tompkins County Legislature, Ulysses, NY)
- Howard Maffucci (Monroe County Legislature, Pittsford, NY)
- Adrienne Martini (Otsego County Legislature, Oneonta, NY)
- Hal McCabe (Homer, NY Mayor, Cortland County – Elected in March 2017)
- Debby McCormick (Auburn, NY City Council, Cayuga County)
- Kristofer Munn (Dutchess County Legislature, Red Hook, NY)
- Molly Reilly (Sackets Harbor, NY Mayor, Jefferson County)
- Beth Rowland (Westfield, PA Mayor, Tioga County)
- Stephanie Townsend (Pittsford, NY Town Board, Monroe County)